Astrid U. Jacobsen (NOR) on Rollerski Training

Inge ScheveAugust 7, 20104

Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen finished second in the 2008 overall World Cup standings, and has three career World Cup victories.  She won a gold medal in the classic sprint at the 2007 World Championships.

OSLO, NORWAY – Roller ski training can be a lot of different things to different people, but here is some of the information I have, Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen writes on her blog.

I do a fair amount of roller skiing, but I had to double-check with my training log to figure out what percentage of my dryland training is roller skiing. I prefer not to roller ski during the snow season… 😉

From May 1 through July 31, 2010, 33 percent of my overall volume was roller skiing. That includes both skate and classic. In terms of hours, that’s almost 85 hours. But I have no idea how many kilometers I’ve covered. A wild guess is that for distance workouts in easy terrain, I do about 15 to 20 kilometers per hour.

There are numerous kinds and brands of roller skis, and I’m sure there are a lot of different things that work well. Everyone on the Norwegian national team uses the same setup, which makes it easy to do reasonable fair time trials, and it keeps the field as close as possible on workouts. For classic roller skiing we use Pro Ski C2, and for skating we use Swenor Skate with two different kinds of wheels: #2 wheels most of the time, and #1 wheels at altitude or in challenging terrain. Last year, when I was struggling with an Achilles injury, I used the Swenor Skate Elite. They’re a little heavier than the standard Swenor Skate, but they have a fiber glass shaft, which reduces some of the road vibration from rough pavement.

The Pro-skis classic skis have more resistance than Swenor’s classic skis, but in my opinion they’re significantly more stable. For me, more stability makes me feel more relaxed on the skis and I ski technically better both when striding uphill and double-poling.

Roller skiing for me is one of many dryland training options, just like biking, running, paddling, etc. Roller skiing lets me train specific muscles all summer. Accordingly, I vary between distance, intervals and speed/impulse on roller skis. I also do some technique work on roller skis, but I don’t train roller ski technique, which differs somewhat from snow ski technique. The fastest way to roller ski is not how you would ski on snow and uses a slightly different movement pattern, so given that I never want to specialize in roller ski racing, I only work on those elements that transfer directly to snow skiing.

From Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen’s blog (, August 7, 2010. Translation by Inge Scheve

Inge Scheve

Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.

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  • XiumNIS1

    August 7, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    “From May 1 through July 31, 2010, 33 percent of my overall volume was roller skiing. That includes both skate and classic. In terms of hours, that’s almost 85 hours.”

    If you do the 3rd grade math… for 100% of her overall volumn between May 1st and July 31st (3 months) multiply by 3 and get 255 hours in 3 months. Then multiply by 4 and get over 1,000 hours of training a year not even factoring in that generally training volumn increases in the winter. Is it just me or does over 1,000 hours seem like too much? But hey… everyones different and if it works….

  • sluggingsammy

    August 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    First, it’s incorrect to assume Astrids’s pace of accumulated hours will continue through the winter. Usually, at that level, hours actually decrease once December rolls around. Secondly, Astrid’s world class success is hard evidence that a lot of training works, and carries more weight than a belief of someone who hasn’t tried.

  • Martin Hall

    August 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

    This is just another re-emphasis that these people are doing a lot of hours—plain and simple. Also, the quality is there, as I said before, we know what to do, or we wouldn’t be winning medals and putting people on podiums at all age levels.
    Get on track with those hours that make you internationally on schedule—especially with the help of a qualified COACH!!!

  • jiyuztex

    August 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    In 2005-06, I put in 231 hours in the first three months, on my way to under 700 for the year.
    104 of those first 231 were on rollerskis, and in all 204 of my 698 hours that year were on rollerskis (compared to only 192 hours on snow).
    In 2002-03, my most successful season, I went through July 31 at 225 hours on my way to 750. I was at 95 hours of rollerskiing, on my way to 249 (and 208 of snow skiing).

    Perhaps those numbers from a somewhat successful American help give Jacobsen’s data some context…

    Justin Freeman

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